Harare city suspends nurse representatives

BY RUVIMBO MUCHENJE

HARARE City Council has suspended six executive members of the nurses’ representative body accusing them of engaging in an “illegal job action” and inciting others to go on strike.

Zimbabwe Urban and Rural Council Nurses Workers’ Union (ZURCNWU) president, Simbarashe Tafirenyika confirmed the suspension to NewsDay yesterday.

“Six out of our 10 members in the executive of the union were suspended through letters on December 5. The suspended members are Simbarashe Tafirenyika, (president), James Tabvirwa (organising secretary), Fortunate Mapfumo (treasurer-general), Charles Manyarara (deputy organising secretary), Yeukai Nyamhunga (committee member) and Tedias Chisango (secretary-general),” Tafirenyika said.

A memo signed by city health director Prosper Chonzi seen by NewsDay showed that the nurses were suspended for inciting their colleagues to abscond duty.

“There is reasonable suspicion to believe that you called for an illegal job action as supported by your letter dated November 1, 2019 addressed to the human capital director and copied to various council offices. In the said letter you allegedly made indications that some nurses employed in the City of Harare were members of the Zimbabwe Urban and Rural Council Nurses Workers’ Union, which you are an executive official and further that the said members would not be reporting for duty effective November 4, 2019 due to alleged incapacitation,” Chonzi said.

The memo further warned the nurses that they might face disciplinary measures for their conduct.

“Pursuant to this suspension, be further advised that you will be formally advised of the outcome once the investigations are completed and may be summoned for a disciplinary hearing during your suspension,” Chonzi said.

Tafirenyika said such treatment from management had forced nurses to return to work and it was not because their grievances had been addressed but they feared victimisation.

Nurses who returned to work after negotiations between the local authority and some workers unions were asked to fill in leave forms for the days that they were incapacitated.

“This is to advise that all nurses who have not been reporting for duty since November 4, 2019 due to incapacitation and are now back at work should complete vacation leave forms for the period that they were away,” read a memo from acting human capital director Matthew Marara.

Tafirenyika said the nurses had the following adjustments to their salaries after negotiations at National Employment Council level.

“Electricity $2,50, water rates $10 nothing changed, education allowance from $10 to $18 basic salary from $934 to $987.”

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